Within the space of two hours today I’ve been addressed as brother and, as part of a group, ladies. Neither is correct. On both occasions the speaker made an assumption about me. In the case of the former that assumption was based on my appearance. And in the latter, on my name.

I know that the intention behind the use of each of these words was to be friendly and welcoming, but that’s not necessarily how they are received.

I wanted to share this experience to encourage you to take a moment to think the next time you find yourself default to using gendered language. Especially when it’s in conversation with a group or someone you don’t know. Who are you addressing? What assumptions are you making about them? What non-gendered term could you use as an alternative?

This is day 39 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 100daystooffload.com